Paul Ricoeur's Macbeth: The Nature Of Good And Evil

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Intellectual discussions regarding the nature of good and evil have been the foundation of philosophical and literary reports for a number of centuries. No publication surmounts the captivation Shakespeare provides of this ongoing theme than Shakespeare’s, Macbeth. In Macbeth, Shakespeare replicates such themes present in other cultural narratives of the ongoing feuds between good and evil, such as the Genesis and Aztec creation myths, and philosopher Paul Ricoeur’s myth types. In the present essay, I will address Paul Ricoeur’s Symbolism of Evil to metaphorically anatomize significant passages within Macbeth to ultimately argue that Macbeth, although was capable of making his own decisions, was indeed affected by metaphysical forces.

However, before engaging the present argument, the reader must first understand Ricoeur’s definition of myth types. Ricoeur, as cited in Gaiser, defines myth types as any number of cultural narratives that establishes the ontological and cosmological stories of culture’s creation and the meaning of their existence (Gaiser 390). Using this definition, Ricoeur has given identification to creation stories or myth types that address
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Referring back to statements above from Paul Ricoeur, as cited in Gaiser, it is clear that there were indeed metaphysical forces at play in the series of events. Macbeth was not the origin of evil, however the Wyrd Sisters (the three witches) were. They hinted the prophecy of Macbeth being crowned Thane of Cawdor, but did not prophesy of how he will come to be crowned. I believe they were aware of what his next step of action would consist of, therefore they left the decision making to him. In my perspective, doing this alone makes the witches partly at fault for the murder of Duncan. As any human would do in whatever circumstances, I believe Macbeth just simply found the evil within his prophecy or desires, and continued

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